Tag Archives: NYC

I Spy NYC Eats Spam For Breakfast

Although this site doesn’t generate very much traffic (what website needs traffic to be successful anyway?) it does generate a fair amount of comment spam. So, instead of hitting the delete button as I always do I thought I’d share some of the more interesting recent spam comments.  Keep in mind, this is a blog about my photos and findings in New York City.

This one came in from “freeshipping 2011 cheapest DV136” following a post about a solar panel I found in the Hudson River:

“I love the jeans at the first glance but I feel hesitate because of the price, but when I put them on, I was shocked at how perfect they fit!”

Thanks for sharing, DV136. I’m shocked too.  And you really do look good!

Next up is a gem from “Sac Hermes” after a post on eating lunch outside in the West Village :

“I like the way in which you could have frameworked the following matter and yes it does offer my family several fodder to get thought. Nonetheless, via precisely what Concerning observed, My spouse and i hope because actual views group about that people these days remain place and you should not begin a new cleaning soap container affecting several other announcement of the day. Still, appreciate this glorious position even though I won’t actually agree with the fact by using it within totality, We respect the thoughts and opinions.”

Sac, you nailed it. So many people clean their soap containers only to affect the announcements they want to make later that day. What are they thinking?  I, for one, do not respect their thoughts and opinions. You’re much more empathetic than me. And I respect your thoughts and opinions for that. Thanks for contributing and I’m glad my little blog provides your “family several fodder to get thought.”  Diito here.

Lastly, MonsterBeatsDre said following my post about paint spilled on 20th street: “Superior posting. Is extremely excellent point of view and so i want to we appreciate you intriguing, notable and ideas. Thank you so much!”

No, I “want to we appreciate you” too, MonsterBeatsDre!  Your superior spamming and exellent mastery of language has inspired me to write this post. And I’m spent.

Maybe this will become a usual feature, I just need enough traffic to keep attracting the spammers. And the world goes round and round.

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Empire State of Commuting

This blog started because I wanted to document my morning commute.  Then it morphed into a quasi photo blog and now, well, I really don’t know what it is other than a virtual wall I throw stuff at every now and then to see if it sticks. This morning, as I crossed over Broadway and 22nd, I realized that I’ve never done a post about the Empire State Building.  What???

I suppose I’ve been too intent on finding the little things, the New York nuances, the unheralded oddities that make me think twice.  But I’d be remiss to walk past this scene every day and not say here, pubilcly, to my seven regular readers, that seeing the Empire State Building every day is a real gift.

I guess you have to invest as much attention on the significance of the big things in life as in seeking out the small things. Just another commute.

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This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef

On 1st Avenue between 9th Street and St. Marks Place you’ll find a tiny sandwich place barely big enough to turn around in. It’s fitting, because I wouldn’t recommend leaving anyway.  The place is “This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef” and it’s sole purpose is serving up hot roast beef sandwiches so delicious even the most hardened Philly cheese steak enthusiast would give a tip of their Eagles cap to the chef.  (Yes, they come with cheese wiz.)  Perhaps the msot interesting aspect of the shop is the decor — a seemly endless assortment of bills, written on in Sharpy and taped to the walls and cieling.

The food becomes secondary as you scan the hundreds of bills, each unique and telling some sort of story (Mookie visited NYC 9-26-10 and “Dave P. Runs this sho”).  But then the sandwich is placed on the counter and the full scene starts to take shape – the strangely textured walls, the cramped space, the savory aroma of perfectly cooked roast beef on a hero with aujus and cheeze wiz filling the air.  It truly is a carnivore’s fairy tale.


This Way: roast beef on a roll with aujus and cheez wiz.

That Way: roast beef on Italian bread hero with gravy and fresh mozzarella.

The Other Thing: pastrami on rye with coleslaw and spicy brown mustard.

Something Else: roast beef on Italian bread hero with cheez wiz, fresh mozzarella, gravy, aujus & hand-cut fries.

There is also beef stew and some sides. But really all you need is the roast beef, aujus and cheese wiz. Any way you slice it, if you like roast beef sandwiches, consider This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef to be the Arby’s on steroids. Delicious.


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Union Square Goings On…


The little gate in front of the Gandhi statue on the southwest corner of the park was open so I stepped in to take a look.  Funny how a twenty inch tall gate had kept me from getting new views of the park for the longest time. Maybe it’s been open before, I just didn’t notice.

There was a street fair, a market of sorts in Union Square today.  And, surprisingly, there were no organic turnips or naturally fermented pickles. It was for NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the stands were to promote clean energy ideas.  If you’re passing through today, check it out!

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Make Way For Goslings (NYC style)

I had followed these geese up and down the river for about twenty minutes.  They were moving in a tight pack. (Do geese travel in packs when they’re not flying? Ok, flock.)  I was the “one man wolf pack” looking like a crazy person who gets angry when geese don’t do what he wants.  Finally, they spread out in a line and it was a beautiful sight. All in a row, it added some serenity to the evening.

Also, just after I took this shot, Julian, yesterday’s blog post, came up to me. All in all another fun evening of shooting and taking in all that I could spy in this great city.

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Fall Light in NYC

Looking northeast from the West Village

The Veigns on Summer

Don't Stare at the Sun

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New York City’s “Second Cemetery”

Standing some for over 200 years, the tombstones of the Second Cemetery at 76 W. 11th between 5th and 6th (closer to 6th) have all but worn down. Their faces display the remnants of words and the small plot is harder to find than it is to pass by, like I have for months on my morning commute.

Second Cemetery Synagogue

Second Cemetery Sign

The Second Cemetery is much smaller than it originally was. Burials began here in 1805, in what was a much larger, square plot extending into what is now the street. It was the cemetery, founded by Portuguese Jews, for those who died by plagues, particularly the dreaded yellow fever of 1798. The Commissioners’ Plan had established the city’s grid in 1811, but not until 1830 was West 11th Street cut through, at that time reducing the cemetery to its present tiny triangle. The disturbed plots were moved further uptown to the Third Cemetery, which is on West 21st Street.

Worn Tombstones

Worn Tombstones

“According to legend, the location of the red-bricked building abutting the cemetery has an unusual history of its own. On the site of that building, there was a Civil war tavern known as the “Grapevine”. Many Union officers went there including many southern spies, and many incognito newspaper reporters.

Of course everyone knew that everyone else was eavesdropping on conversations there, so the tavern became known as the place where many rumors originated. This became the origin of the phrase “heard it through the grapevine”! The newspapers began using this phrase which is in common use now, and later it made Gladys Knight and Marvin Gaye a lot of money.”  Source: Willensky and White’s AIA Guide to New York City

The Little Things Make all the Difference

Flower at the cemetery

If you’re reading this and wondering, well where is the first cemetery? Here you go. The first cemetery of Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel, is located at St. James Place just off Chatham Square in Chinatown. This cemetery dates to 1683! The Shearith Israel Jews emigrated from Brazil beginning in the mid-17th Century.

* Most of the information presented in this post was gleaned from the helpful folks at The Foundation for the Advancement of Shepardic Studies and Culture. Other bits I found through forgotten-NY.com, a must-see website that I have an unhealthy obsession with and suggest you visit when you are through scouring the pages of I Spy NYC. They are my inspiration.

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Brooklyn Cops Nab Cyclists

Red lights no longer optional for Brooklyn cyclists. A great article spied from the Brooklyn Paper…

Dragnet! Cops nab bikers in red-light sting

The Brooklyn Paper (May 12, 2009)

Police cracked down on rule-breaking bicyclists in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill last Friday, issuing tickets for running red lights and then slapping offenders with additional summonses for minor infractions, including one bicyclist who didn’t have a bell.

The dragnet snared 36 bicyclists on the popular DeKalb Avenue bike lane that links the two neighborhoods with Downtown Brooklyn.

Bikers protested that they’re being prosecuted for victimless crimes.

“I admit the red light was a red light,” said Gideon Levy who was busted on DeKalb Avenue near the police precinct building at Classon Avenue. “But when I go through red lights, I always look to see if pedestrians and cars are coming. There should be a similar attitude as with jaywalking. New York can afford to look the other way as long as the bikers are riding safely.”

The red light violation carries a $120 penalty, and this was Levy’s second pedaling punishment this spring.

Back in Fort Greene on Friday, one biker was slapped with $350 in tickets for running a red light on Lafayette Avenue and not properly signaling as he made a turn onto the Carlton Avenue bike lane.

“There have to be rules for bicyclists, but cycling needs to be encouraged,” said the suddenly discouraged Brion Snyder, a music producer from Clinton Hill. “Now I have $350 in fines. It seems irrational since it’s a minor infraction. It’s egregious.”

Cops said the crackdown was long overdue.

“It was targeted towards enforcing traffic laws,” said a police source from the 88th Precinct. “Running a red light is not safe for the cyclist or anyone else in the street.”

The ticket blitz is a bitter irony for bikers who have complained since the lane’s creation last year that vehicles, including officers at the 88th Precinct stationhouse near the corner of Classon Avenue, but especially delivery trucks, regularly block the lane with parked cars along the busy corridor.

Cop sources conceded that the newfound heightened enforcement of the traffic rules came only after motorists and pedestrians mounted complaints about dangerous and illegal maneuvers by their two-wheel loving neighbors.

One driver, himself stopped at a red light in Clinton Hill, said many bikers are a hazard.

“No, they don’t follow the laws,” the driver moaned. “Last week, my car got hit by a bike.”

And with only five motorists getting nailed in last week’s crackdown with citations for obstructing the bikers’ route, word quickly spread among rogue riders that they were under scrutiny — and they quickly heeded the lesson of the suddenly strict enforcement.

“This whole ride I’ve been stopping for red lights,” said Lauren Kelleher, near the corner of Clinton Avenue on Monday afternoon. “My roommate just got a ticket for it!”

But most cyclists act like red lights are stop signs, halting just long enough to see that intersections are clear of traffic.

“I stop, at least a quick stop, just to check,” said Catalina Monsalve.

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For Serious and Curious NYC Commuters

If you’ve found this website while searching for legitimate NYC commuting information and are watching the hours go by sifting through each whitty, timely and life-enhancing post still wanting more commuterly info, this is your post.

Today’s focus is on CommutersVoice.com, a site dedicated to commuter services for those from Eastern New Jersey schlepping into New York. While the site’s discussion forum is in dire need of interaction, the location pages appear to be complete and informative.

So, if you’re commuting to NYC from Wayne, Lincoln Park, Little Falls, Montclair, Upper Montclair or Montville, you may want to check out commutersvoice.com.

Overall, this site is set up with the framework for lots of potential to help commuters voice opinions and advice. Surprisingly, the site is sponsored by CondoSpectrum.com, a site offering a variety of Townhouse, Condominium, Cooperatives and Planned Unit Developments in northern Jersey. You could read into it as bias, but I think the commuters voice maintains neutrality throughout.  It’s a smart move on behalf of CondoSpectrum.com in seeking to better service people in search of area condos and concerned about the commute.

From one commuter to another, kudos.

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Top 50 Places to Spy Celebrities in NYC

There’s no denying that its fun to run into celebrities in New York City. A random profile on Google maps named dwager has made it easier than ever, by pinpointing the most popular places for celebs to hang.

Check out this Google Map with tacks for the top 50 places in New York City to see celebrities. Click the tacks for the info to pop up. Where are your favorite spots? Would you add any?

And thank you dwager, whoever you are.

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Tag along on my morning NYC Commute

What’s an extra 15 minutes worth in the morning? In New York, a hell of a lot. Since winter is past and the days are warmer I’ve started riding my bike to work. Not only is it better for me physically, it saves me time and I get to see so much more of the city than when I’m stuck underground on a train. Follow along as I ride down the west side, at least for a bit. (Sorry about the bumps, couldn’t help it.)

Surprisingly peaceful and fun, right? Of course it is only after I fight to get across town. Wear your helmet!

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Creative Weather in NYC

Tired of the persistent rain in the Northeast?  So am I.  And apparently so is the New York 4 weather team because this week’s forecast doesn’t include one mention of rain. Will it rain? Heck yeah.  They’ve just stopped using the word.

Mon – Quite Damp

Tue – Still moist

Wed – Drying Out

Thu – Showers Return

Fri – A little Milder

Sat – Late Day Drops

Sun – Mixed Sky

This is the actual week-long forecast from this morning (5/3/09). Each corresponding photo (except for Wed) – whether it is “still moist” or we’ll see “late day drops” – still looks like rain to me.

Way to go NY4 — you are the most creative weather team on the air!

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Alien Robots in NYC

I’ve seen these little robot alien-type guys all over Manahattan streets lately. What the hell are they? Who’s putting them there? Aliens?

Robot Alien Guy on NYC Streets

Robot Alien Guy on NYC Streets

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